For most of us our home is the biggest investment we make in our lifetime, so it is only natural to ask yourself is now a good time to renovate my home? Or, can I design my home now and build later? In this post we examine why now is the best time to plan your dream renovation or new build.
For many, particularly those of us in Melbourne, 2020 and 2021 saw us retreat to the safety of our homes. It was a time of prolonged togetherness like we had never experienced before. Kids at the kitchen dining table learning, parents at makeshift desks working, soups on the stove and sourdough in the oven. Friday night movies on the sofa, game night Wednesdays and a little too much screen time … it really was an extraordinary time.
Some of us loved it, some of us went stir crazy at the sight, size, colour and location of our four walls!
I think most of us at some point during the pandemic imagined our lives lived in improved versions of our homes. Home offices, huge windows with natural light streaming in, strong open connections to our backyards, bigger kitchens, larger living spaces, spaces where we could be together and spaces where we could be apart …
Some of us jumped into action on those imaginings and started working with our architects on redesigning our homes to suit our changed lifestyles. Some of us acted immediately and are excitedly coming to the end of our builds, others are already enjoying our renovated or newly built homes. Some of us hesitated in an uncertain world and some of us are done waiting and now looking for the right architect to bring our imaginings to life.
The housing market boomed and homes that ticked all our boxes where in frenzied demand. Paired with never-before-seen low interest rates, housing prices went through the roof. As with all things that go up (or down) at a rate beyond norm, we are now experiencing the correction of the rapid and unsustainable price rises and low interest rates.
Whilst there is no denying that housing prices have begun to decline, we are still ahead of where we were pre-covid. The real estate market is full of ups and downs and plateaus in between, it always will be. On the below graphic from the REIV, published at the end of the March 2023 quarter, you can see the rapid increase in housing prices, and now the correction, compared to where we were pre-covid, and the commencement of the next plateau.
If you purchased a home you thought ticked all your boxes at low interest rates, inflated prices and a seller’s market (at the top of that curve), you might now be feeling some regret. If you renovated your home you might be feeling pretty chuffed right now. But what if you hesitated? What now?
You’re in luck … now is the perfect time to plan your dream home.
Time to Plan
There are many different stages involved in planning your dream home, with the build being one of the final stages. Planning your dream home doesn’t mean you need to build right away, in fact holding on a build date has many advantages not the least of which is giving yourself time with your architect to get the design of your home just right.
You can spend time writing your design brief, a document that clearly sets out all that you want your architect to know and understand about your unique family dynamic and what is important to you to include in the design of your [new] home.
Your design brief is a live document and can change but it’s the starting point for discussions with your architect, or when selecting your architect. There are pragmatic inclusions such; your budget and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d like, but what you really want to understand are your why[s]. For more information on how to write a brief, follow the link to our post about design briefs and download our guided templates for writing a brief.
Ahead of the Market
The building process from start to finish takes time, particularly if town planning approval is required. Starting the design process now whilst the market is quietening can put you ahead of the market when the time is right for you, putting you in a good position to make the most of competitive prices, your choice of builder and potentially a quicker turnaround for approvals and permits.
Planning your [new] home ahead of time, having a design and documentation package ready to go, makes it possible to move forward with your build when the timing suits you, rather than rushing the design and documentation process when you are looking to start your build.
The design and documentation process is an investment that is a fraction of the construction cost, so don’t let the fear about what the fee might be stop you from being pleasantly surprised by what the fee actually is.
Now is the perfect time to move forward with planning your dream renovation or new build. It will give you the time needed to properly assess your why[s], develop your brief and adequately consider the design. You are not committing to building right now, but you will be ready to move forward with your build when you decide the time is right.
Improving your lifestyle and increasing the value and usability and energy efficiency of your home is always a good move.
Contact us at Dig Design to find out more about our architectural design process and how we can help you meet your goals.